Super City

short-poppiesI have to admit, I’m really not a fan of awkward comedies. From Meet the Fockers to The Office to Hello Ladies, there really is so much I can take.  While I’m sure we can all attest to certain people who have crossed paths with us over the years, most people just aren’t either that stupid or that naive.

They also say that there is nothing new under the sun.  A series where the lead characters are all played by the same actor has certainly been done before.  Australia’s Chris Lilley in Summer Heights High and locally, Madeliene Sami’s Super City.

Last night I sat down and watched the first two episodes of Short Poppies thanks to TVNZ’s decision to put the entire 8 episode NZ On Air funded series online after we exposed that they had allowed the series to be made available overseas first.  There were certainly laugh-out-loud moments but there were also plenty of cringeworthy Rhys Darby moments that back all those memories of band manager Murray from Flight of the Conchords. Continue reading »

NZ On Air is pleased to announce support for an exciting new line up of documentaries and comedies set to hit screens in 2013.

The first funding round of the new financial year has seen nearly $12 million committed to comedies and documentaries to screen across five free-to-air channels.

“We had a large number of applications for this round” says NZ On Air Chief Executive Jane Wrightson.  “That has meant some very tough decisions. But audiences are in for some special treats next year from a particularly varied range of talent behind the successful projects”, she says. Continue reading »

New Zealand writer/director Taika Waititi this week fired a cheap shot on Twitter at vampire series True Blood, likening it to a school play.

Waititi, who directed the 2010 movie Boy and the Madeleine Sami series Super City, compared True Blood to “a school play shot in HD, by students. If you ever need proof that acting is embarrassing”.

True Blood of course features Oscar-winning kiwi actress Anna Paquin in the role of Sookie Stackhouse. Continue reading »

Deadline is reporting that TV3 comedy Super City will be adapted in the US by ABC.

ABC Studios will produce a low-cost production based on the Madeleine Sami comedy, which was directed by Taika Waititi.

Under the codename Keystone, the production will be written by and feature Sami with Waititi again serving as director.

Carthew Neal, who produced the original series, will executive produce the US production alongside Aaron Kaplan of Kapital Entertainment.

Kaplan and Waititi recently worked on the US remake of popular British comedy series The Inbetweeners. Continue reading »

10:00pm – Friday, January 6 on TV 3

Returning to our screen for a summer replay, Super City is the local comedy series which sees Madeleine Sami (Jaquie Brown Diaries and Sione’s Wedding) hilariously transform into five very different characters all living in New Zealand’s super city. Super City screens on Friday, January 6 th at 10pm on 3. Directed by Taika Waititi (Boy & Eagle vs. Shark), Super City sees Sami hilariously portraying five acutely observed and very different characters all living in Auckland.

There’s Pasha, an aging cheerleader clinging to her partying lifestyle; Azeem, an immigrant taxi driver embracing Maori culture; Jo, a closeted gym instructor in love with her best friend; Linda, the runt of her “old girls” clique fostering impoverished artists and Georgie, a homeless girl whose freedom is unexpectedly interrupted.

“Hopefully viewers will get a lot of laughs and take these unique personalities into their hearts…,” Madeleine Sami says about her onscreen characters.

“I had the most exhausting and exhilarating experience of my life making Super City,” she adds. “It was real actual super fun!”

Make sure not to miss your first introduction to all five characters as they shock audiences with the ludicrously awkward scenarios they find themselves in. Super City screens on Friday, January 6 th at 10pm on 3.

NZ On Air has announced funding for a range of television projects throughout 2012.

 

Drama

Two drama projects were supported including the new 13 hour drama series, Blue Rose, for TV3.  This project comes from the red hot pen of Rachel Lang and promises to be a fresh and engaging primetime series.  The second project is feature film Mt Zion from Quinton Hita and Tearepa Kahi that is being produced with support from NZFC and Te Māngai Pāho, and will screen on Māori Television.  


Comedy

Three comedy projects were supported for TV3 including Comedy Festival Bonanza that will see several programmes emanate from the 2012 International Comedy Festival including coverage of the traditional opening gala.  A second series of Madeleine Sami’s award winning Super City has also been supported along with new comedy series, The Wilde Bunch. 

 

Documentary/Factual

Two documentary programmes were approved at this meeting including a second series of Global Radar for TV One that will once again see Te Radar (pictured) investigate sustainability and environmental issues that impact on New Zealanders.  A new series Family Report was supported for TV3 that will be made by The Gibson Group.

 

Arts/Culture

New 7 part series Behind the Brush was supported for Māori Television and will profile the work of Gottfried Lindauer as well as revealing the stories of the subjects of his well known portraits.  This series is being produced in conjunction with Te Māngai Pāho.

 

The Platinum Fund meeting saw current affairs programmes Q+A and The Nation receive support for 2012.  Both series play an important role in the discourse around political and current events within New Zealand and 2012 will no doubt present a wide range of subject material for them to canvass.  

10:00pm – Friday, February 11 on TV 3

Premiering on Friday, February 11th at 10pm on 3, Super City is the brand new comedy series which sees Madeleine Sami (Jaquie Brown Diaries and Sione’s Wedding) hilariously transform into five very different characters all living in New Zealand’s super city.

Directed by Taika Waititi (Boy & Eagle vs. Shark), Super City sees Sami hilariously portraying five acutely observed and very different characters all living in our country’s super city.

There’s Pasha, an aging cheerleader clinging to her partying lifestyle; Azeem, an immigrant taxi driver embracing Maori culture; Jo, a closeted gym instructor in love with her best friend; Linda, the runt of her “old girls” clique fostering impoverished artists and Georgie, a homeless girl whose freedom is unexpectedly interrupted.

“Hopefully viewers will get a lot of laughs and take these unique personalities into their hearts…,” Madeleine Sami says about her new onscreen characters.

“I had the most exhausting and exhilarating experience of my life making Super City,” she adds. “It was real actual Super fun!”

Make sure not to miss your first introduction to all five characters when they shock through the ludicrously awkward scenarios they find themselves in. Super City premieres on Friday, February 11th at 10pm on 3.

2011 will see Mediaworks shift the target demographics for TV3 to the same as TV One; 25-54.  This has a few implications which will see some shows moving to the rebranded and refocused Four.

Below are a list of new and returning shows with trailers.

New

The Event

Hawaii Five-O

An Idiot Abroad

Raising Hope

The Defenders

Blue Bloods

The Gruen Transfer

James May’s Man Lab

Terriers

The X Factor USA

New local content
The Almighty Johnsons – From the makers of Outrageous Fortune – trailer
Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger – James Coleman’s new show – trailer
Super City – Taika Waititi’s six part observational comedy
Brown Bruthaz – Fast paced comedy about hitting the big time starring Taungaroa Emile, Scott Cotter, Nicola Kawana, Shane Cortese and Shavaughn Ruakere
Drug Bust – Fast paced factual observational series following police drug busts in Counties Manukau

Returning Shows
3 News
3 News At 12
Nightline
Sports Tonight
Campbell Live
60 Minutes
Reel Late with Kate
What’s Really In Our…?
New Zealand’s Next Top Model
New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker
7 Days
Road Cops
Target
Glee
The Graham Norton Show
Californication
Grand Designs
House
Home and Away
Farmer Wants a Wife
NCIS
NCIS: Los Angeles
CSI
CSI: Miami
CSI: NY
Bones
SVU
The Good Wife
Lie To Me
Law & Order: Los Angeles
The Big C
Nurse Jackie
Missing Pieces
Modern Family
Family Guy

From a ratings perspective, it shouldn’t be too surprising that NZ’s Hottest Home Baker returns, despite how much viewers loved to hate on it. 

Our pick of the bunch have to be Ricky Gervais’ new project An Idiot Abroad.  If you haven’t heard the podcasts with Karl Pilkington then go take a listen and you’ll quickly understand why this show has been a ratings hit for Sky1 in the UK.

With all the hype and expectation that Outrageous Fortune has set up for The Almighty Johnsons, the trailer seemed to fall a little flat.  It didn’t really deliver much of a hook other than “this is the show to follow on from OF”. Big shoes to fill and only time will tell as to whether it can deliver similiar audiences to TV3.

James Coleman’s new show Bigger, Better, Faster, Stronger looks good and is reminiscent of Mythbusters where two teams try and improve stuff. If not for anything else, kiwi guys trying to blow stuff up should rate well.

The Hawaii Five-O remake is worth a watch too.

The big one for 2011 will be The X Factor US. Simon Cowell’s return in his own show for the first time in America will probably by the highest rating show in the US next year.  How TV3 capitalise on this will be fascinating.

What are your picks?  Any obvious duds?